In recent years, in the European Union there has been a rift between countries of Eastern Europe and Western European nations that are considered as the founders of the EU. Brussels’ migration policy, including the decision on migrant distribution quotas for European member states, has become a major stumbling block. Members of the Visegrad Group (V4) – Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia – are opposed to providing shelter for Muslim communities on their territory as they persist in preserving Christian identity of Europe. And if leaderships in Prague and Bratislava as more reserved and careful ones have never been in direct confrontation with Brussels, then Warsaw and Budapest have pursued their national policy without regard for the EU. It should be noted that the EU has even imposed punitive sanctions against these two countries. Hungary has been penalized for its undemocratic domestic policy orientation, and Poland – for its judicial reform, which, in the view of Brussels, violates democratic principles of separation of powers and poses danger to the rule of law in the country.
However, current rhetoric of Poland’s authorities has changed dramatically. Poland decided to move away from confrontation with the European Union. For instance, recently the implementation of judicial reform measures has been suspended upon request from Brussels. Moreover, Warsaw has embarked in earnest on the issues of fighting against centrifugal tendencies in Europe and advancing European democratic values. With assistance from Ukraine’s authorities, Poland is conducting a campaign to counter the activities of media and the government of Viktor Orbán as the latter continues to take a strong stand against Brussels’ position towards migrants. It is reported that, working together, Ukrainians and Poles wish to do all possible to exclude Hungary from V4. And even a special information campaign to discredit Hungary’s authorities has been launched.
The reaction from Warsaw’s colleagues in V4 is unknown, yet. But despite the assistance of Kiev, it is unlikely that Poland will be able to exclude Hungary from V4 without support from other members of the Visegrad Group. Nevertheless, if anyone else in V4 supports the initiative, then Poles will maximize the chances for achieving their goal.